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Saturday, March 14, 2009

'Gulaal': The Revolution Continues





Anurag Kashyap is a filmmaker who loves to provoke, and is too ambitious, however his ambition stems from creativity as well as his characteristic dynamism. He might not always fully realize his ambition on screen - yet he tries, relentlessly, and it is this very effort which makes us viewers sit up, and take note. We can never afford to be indifferent, we can never fail to respond to his kind of cinema!
'Gulaal' is a revolution, not so much because it has political elements dramatically placated in the narrative, but more for the manner in which Anurag Kashyap attempts to turn the age-old cinematic conventions on their head! He makes full use of the colors, the sights, the sounds, the locales, the characters, the realistic backdrop and the surreal images, and gets us involved in the violence-induced potpourri.
In his own admission, the director has said that he had been much angry and frustrated when his film 'Paanch' got banned! It was before 'Black Friday', and he wanted to say a lot at that time. The new states of Uttaranchal and Jharkhand were formed. The 27th and 28th state. He was upset as to why these new states were being formed. At that time, he was introduced to a part time model, Raja Chaudhary, who had written a story on college politics, which Anurag found to be 'a nice story but nothing more' and that eventually, after much research & meat being worked into it, 'Gulaal' was conceived. First it was supposed to be produced by Michael Arrakal, but after a small schedule, the film got shelved. He went on to make 'Black Friday' after that. Jhamu Sughand then stepped in to produce 'Gulaal' as the release of 'Black Friday' was stalled by the Court. However, the troubles weren't over; a new set of bottlenecks cropped up. 'Gulaal' was stopped midway alongwith 'Johnny Gaddar' and 'Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na', the two other films of Jhamu. The former was picked up by Adlabs and the latter by Aamir Khan. Nobody picked up 'Gulaal' because it lacked saleable names. Kashyap made 'No Smoking', 'Return Of Hanuman' and 'Dev.D'. Finally it was Zee Motion Pictures that bought the project and decided to complete and release it. 'Gulaal' now graces the screens just as Holi - the festival of colors - has just wrapped up, and as the success and acclaim are still being showered on Kashyap's 'Dev. D' that is still enjoying a good run at the city plexes.
'Gulaal' stars Raj Singh Choudhary, Jesse Randhawa, Abhimanyu Singh, Kay Kay Menon, Aditya Srivastav, Mahie Gill, Deepak Dobriyal, Ayesha Mohan, Piyush Mishra and Pankaj Jha. The music & lyrics are by Piyush Mishra; Editing: Aarti Bajaj; Art direction: Wasiq Khan; Cinematography: Rajiv Ravi. I found it to be aptly continuing the revolution that Anurag Kashyap has started as he emblazons the screens with the powerful cinematic vehicles, and cements his position in Bollywood as a maverick scriptwriter-cum-director.

8 comments:

saurabh said...

'Gulaal' shines largely because of the intense performances of Kay Kay Menon & Abhimanyu Singh. In fact, I almost felt lost in the maze of gimmicky screenplay, after the character of Ransa, played by Abhimanyu Shekhar Singh, dies. He is terrific in his brief scenes. I was completely bowled over by his magnetic presence and facial acting. I also loved Piyush Mishra, Deepak Dobriyal, Pankaj Jha and - last but not the least - Mukesh Bhatt (who plays the faithful servant called Bhanwar, and whom you forgot to mention!). A must-watch film, irrespective of all the minor flaws.

iman said...

hi buddy~

nice post indeed, so much info about Anurag Kashyap, but i have not yet the lucky man to watch Gulal, waiting to see.....

pallavi said...

'Gulaal' is a FANTASTIC piece of cinema. It enthralled me with its intricate tale of deceit, desire, corruption, crackling energy, loss of innocence and perversion of idealism. The ensemble cast is just perfect. Even though the lead protagonist is a newcomer, and is awkward at times on-screen, he fits the role of the nerd perfectly.
And Kay Kay Menon has given yet another stupendous portrayal! One cannot take one's eyes off him, he is just terrific. Abhimanyu Singh, who plays Dilip’s fiery roommate Ransa, has been rightly hailed by you; one can almost smell his presence, he's that powerful!

Neeraj said...

I loved Abhimanyu's portrayal of Ransa a lot! He is a dynamo! I loved his swagger, and his raw dialogue delivery, and his eyes conveyed so much - I am completely floored by this actor who till now was hardly recognised in his brief roles in 'Lakshya' or 'Jannat', or in insipid serials like 'Kkusum', 'Kahin Kisi Roz', 'Nazdikiyan' and 'Koi Hai'.

abhishek said...

Wonderful post! Though I wish you wrote more on the movie, than just the brief intro to its intriguing theme.
''Aarambh hai prachand'' - the revolution has started alright.....
'Gulaal' is indeed yet anothet brave attempt from director Anurag Kashyap, and it is a terrific watch. The movie is technically brilliant, the dialogues are provocative, and so are thelyrics, for a change!
The characters of Ransa (Abhimanyu Shekhar Singh), Dukey Bana (Kay Kay Menon) and Prithvi Bana (Piyush Mishra) remain etched in our psyche for a long time after the curtains have fallen.

Aniruddh said...

Anindo, you are absolutely right in saying that we can never afford to be indifferent to Anurag Kashyap's cinema. I think that is what cinema should be! They should be able to move us.... emotionally, or cerebrally.... that's why films are called MOVIES, and that's what all good films do.... all films that work!
Anurag's madness needs to be reined somehow, in terms of scaling down his ambitious designs to cater to the demands of the film itself. And that somehow has been a problem, not a major one in this film, nor in 'Dev. D'. 'Gulaal' is very much like a Shakespearean fable, much like 'Maqbool' or 'Omkara' (the two adaptations by Vishal Bharadwaj), and more like the latter in terms of the blend of the rustic rawness & imagery. Crises of identities, the macho rage, the surrender to greed-lust-deceit trio, and the 'rape' of innocence - such bold themes, and such a powerful concoction that holds us enraptured. Kudos, Anurag, for pulling it off (well, mostly)!

jaison said...

Nice take on an exceptionally bright film, on a dark subject!
Though 'Gulaal' might not have done as well in the theaters as expected, unlike 'Dev. D', it surely continues Anurag Kashyap's revolutionary outpourings on the silver screen.

Pankaj said...

The reason that "Gulaal" did not work for the masses is that it isn't popcorn entertainment. It is dark and disturbingly gripping. A political drama that unfolds as an evil tale of college union elections, it is actually woven around a movement for a separate Rajputana. I found "Gulaal" to be is brilliant. Anurag Kashyap gets it right this time too, after the stupendous "Dev. D".